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Tlauz

Have you ever caught the biggest fish in the lake?

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I mainly fish lakes smaller than 1,000 acres.  Once on a small lake, I caught a 42-inch pike,  on another small lake I caught an upper 40-inch Musky.  I always wondered if I had caught the biggest fish swimming in the lake.  I have never thought this about bass because I have always assumed there is bigger bass somewhere in the lake.  I don't think I would ever think this on a big body of water because no matter the size of a fish, I would always think there is a bigger one swimming.  Anybody ever catch something and think I may have caught the biggest bass/fish in the lake?

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Those sound like major accomplishments for small bodies of water. Congrats for sure! When I was a young teen, we fished the Ct. River system for all sorts of species. I well remember my ole' Johnson Century getting "spooled" by a huge fish on many occasions. Back then we had a large population of Atlantic Sturgeon, so it was probably one of those species that was responsible. Never landed one however! :)

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Smallest maybe, but never the biggest. 

 

 

 

Mike

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If i ever was positive i caught the largest fish i would probably stop fishing

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Only the weeds. 

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Yes I did.  When I lifted him out of the water, the lake level dropped a foot and a half.  I put him in the bed of my truck and it broke the rear axle.  It fed my family of 17 for over a year.

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4 hours ago, Tlauz said:

I mainly fish lakes smaller than 1,000 acres.  Once on a small lake, I caught a 42-inch pike,  on another small lake I caught an upper 40-inch Musky.  I always wondered if I had caught the biggest fish swimming in the lake.  I have never thought this about bass because I have always assumed there is bigger bass somewhere in the lake.  I don't think I would ever think this on a big body of water because no matter the size of a fish, I would always think there is a bigger one swimming.  Anybody ever catch something and think I may have caught the biggest bass/fish in the lake?

Nice catches especially if they where caught from a public body of water. There is a public lake in South Florida where I caught a double digit and have not heard of anyone catching a bass bigger than 6 pounds from it. That lake has lots of one to three pounders, decent amount of 4-5 pounders, but not many 6 pound or better bass, at least they are not caught often. Other lakes I have caught the biggest fish from what I know. With that said there where probably bigger fish in those lakes that I caught so I cannot say 100% sure I caught the biggest fish in those places.

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I was somewhat confident I caught the biggest bass in the little 83 acre lake I fish. Was just shy of 8 lbs and I was freaking out. That's a good trophy in Wi, and this small of a lake. Then on the same night I caught one just under 8 1/2. Now I have no idea how big they get in there. 

I have a gut feeling I'll never top that for that lake, but I wouldn't be surprised if I catch a 9lber there this spawn. The 8 1/2 was a mid August fish. Not as fat as he coulda been. 

I could probably say the same about the Pike there. I was pulling out 30-38"ers all summer, then on a cool fall morning I had a 43" blow up on my whopper plopper. I never imagined this lake harboring big fish like this. It's a honey hole for sure. 

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Maybe a better way to say it is How big do you think fish get in the bodies of water you fish.  I seem to have mastered catching 5-inch bass on a 5-inch worm.  I am always curious if there really is a 7 pounder swimming there.

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My PB, 8-03 was caught in a 6 acre pond behind my daughters house.  If it wasn't the biggest in that pond it was certainly top two......

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My PB smallmouth from Lake Erie was 7-6lbs and that isn't close to the biggest erie smallmouth with previous fish caught over 9lbs. We will never know the biggest smallie weight existing from lake erie unless she suddenly goes dry. 

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25 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

My PB smallmouth from Lake Erie was 7-6lbs and that isn't close to the biggest erie smallmouth with previous fish caught over 9lbs. We will never know the biggest smallie weight existing from lake erie unless she suddenly goes dry. 

I love Lake Erie !! I live 5 minutes from it and I can’t wait till ice out ! Wanna beat my PB this year of 5 pound 6 oz

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4 minutes ago, Ksam1234 said:

I love Lake Erie !! I live 5 minutes from it and I can’t wait till ice out ! Wanna beat my PB this year of 5 pound 6 oz

Just tie on a jerk bait & hit the soft water. 

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10 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Just tie on a jerk bait & hit the soft water. 

Exactly what I do. Jerkbaits , tubes , smal swimbaits like keitech 

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About 10 years ago we built a 1 acre pond on my families pond from a fresh water spring that comes up in the one pasture. We stocked it ourselves with bass, perch, crappie, bluegill and catfish (smaller fish). Fast forward a few years, I caught a largemouth 19" long and about 3.5 pounds. The fish had a scar on his left side gill plate and was very unique looking, but healthy. I've since caught that fish 2 more times, and had him come off 2 other times. The second time I landed him, he was 19.5" and 3.9 pounds. And then the last time I landed him, he was 20" and 4.1 pounds. 

 

I'm pretty sure it's the largest bass in this pond because most of the bass in this pond are 11-14". I haven't caught that fish in the past two years, but I'm hopeful he's still there and he's getting bigger and bigger. 

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I grew up with about a 3/4 acre spring feed pond with a max depth of 4ish.  In prime light conditions you could take a lap and see everything in it.  From the ages 9-12 we had a good idea on how many bass were in there over 15" with several having names.  Moby (had a large white scar on her snout) was the biggest for a couple of summers and measured just shy of 22" before she disappeared. 

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The lake I fish the most is about 80 acres.  It's public but way out in the boonies so not a ton of pressure.  MY PB is out of there at 9.3.  ABout 4 days after landing that one I hooked one that was bigger but she spit the frog at the apex of a jump.  I was heart broken as I know it was a DD.  She's still out there.....as is the 9.3 girl.  Both should be bigger now.  They gotta be in the top 5 of that little lake.

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There is a 150 acre lake just a couple of miles from my house that I have fished more than any other body of water. It's also a couple miles from the house i grew up in. It has a 10 horse limit and a pretty big public shore fishing area. It gets a ton of pressure, especially ice fishing. It has good panfish, largemouth, and northern populations. They stock tiger muskies in it. In the last 20 years I have caught many hammer handle tigers there and have never heard of anybody else catching big tigers there. About ten years ago i pulled a 44", 26.5# tiger up through the ice there. It was awesome. I have never heard anybody claim to have caught a bigger fish there. I always tell everybody that I caught the biggest fish to ever come from that lake, but I obviously dont know that for sure. Also, that fish went back in so somebody else probably caught it again. Maybe it's still in there terrorising bluegill every day. Hell, terrorising everything.

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Sometimes it feels like I’ve caught the only fish in the lake. 

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Impossible question to answer because some of the biggest or heavist fish are not catchable. If you have caught a lake record fish then that should qualify.

Some lakes don't keep official lake records and others only validate records under more recent methods.

Examples, I caught a 8 lb bass at Big Bear Lake winning BBL Sportsmans Club annual event in '65, my mentor caught a 9 lb bass in the late 50's winning the same annual  event.

Big Bear lake record bass is currently listed at 6 lbs 8 oz. Lake Havasu list it's lake record LMB at 10.5 lbs, back in '57 I caught a 11 lb LMB weighed on Roads End camp market scale. My point is it's difficult to know lake records due to poor record keeping and difficult to know what the heavist fish caught at the lake you fish was.

Tom

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Im 95 % sure I caught the biggest fish in my small lake when I was 19 ( just posted this on another thread ) I wade fished , swam, bank fished, and fished out of a boat several times a week there for years. I kept seeing this one big catfish, and eventually caught it by accident while bream fishing. 33 inches long - 22 pounds. I have fished the lake for 40 years since then and never seen or heard of another fish that big being caught. EXCEPT the 23 pound grass carp I snagged near the tail a few years ago.The lake record bass is 13 1/2 pounds, which was not caught by me.

I also caught a 7 pound bass in a 1 acre pond., which Im pretty sure at the time was the champ. I released the fish, and app 2 years later my son saw someone pull out a 9 pounder there and kept it. 😠Probably the same fish. 

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Two lakes I fish -- one 50 acres, one 37 acres-- I think I may have caught the largest bass in there at the time, each a couple years ago.

 

The reason I think this is both are public and get a decent amount of harvest pressure from casual anglers... so bass caught over the 14" limit are often kept:  Once you hit 14", and if you have a taste for lures, or even just live bait, it's only a matter of time before you are caught and kept. Both of my fish were in the 5-6 range, at least two pounds heavier than the 2nd largest fish I've caught in either place, and even that size is rare. They would have had to spend about 5 years or more at keeper size without being harvested, given the typical growth rate for largemouth in Michigan.  If there are bigger fish in those lakes, they are surely experts at not being caught.

 

One of the two lakes is listed as having a Michigan Master Angler entry bigger than mine from a couple years earlier caught while ice fishing, but it too was kept.  Both of my fish were released, and if they're still in there, they're bigger now. Or, if they haven't survived, another one or two or a few may be bigger now, but not more than that.

 

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